Monday, September 4th, 2006

Sweet Pea owners: 'We didn't want this'

Jail time for taking food from trash ‘ridiculous,’ Hieb says


— One of the owners of a fresh produce store said Saturday that it is absurd that two men are in jail for taking spoiled fruit and vegetables from the store’s trash area.

On Wednesday, Giles Char­lé, 24, of Somersworth, N.H., and David Siller, 27, of Wayne, Pa., pleaded guilty to misdemeanor trespass and were sentenced to spend six months in Routt County Jail and pay $15 in restitution to Sweet Pea Produce. The men were on their way to the Rainbow Family of Living Light Gathering in North Routt County when they were arrested June 26.

The men admitted that they jumped a fence and took fruits and vegetables from the garbage area at Sweet Pea. They originally were charged with felony second-degree burglary and misdemeanor theft. They accepted the plea agreement offered by Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James, they said, because they did not want to risk being convicted of a felony.

“Once I found out what these guys were being charged with, I contacted (St. James),” said Jonathon Hieb, who owns Sweet Pea with Katherine Zambrana. “I told him, ‘We’re not behind this prosecution. We don’t want anything to do with it.’ I thought for sure my input would have some kind of bearing, but he wasn’t hearing any of it.”

Hieb said St. James told him he was going to make an example of the men.

On Friday, St. James said it was the men’s decision to accept the plea agreement. He would not comment on suggestions that he was trying to make an example of Charlé and Siller. St. James was not available Saturday for comment. Neither was his boss, District Attorney Bonnie Roesink.

Hieb said police contacted him the night of the incident. Police said a neighbor had reported suspicious men at the store after hours.

When first contacted by police, Hieb said he would press charges. He said the men were found with a Sweet Pea Produce bag, which generally only could be acquired from inside the store. He didn’t want them released until he knew what might be missing from or damaged inside the store.

But Hieb said an inspection showed the men never entered the store and must have found one of the store’s bags in the trash area. When police gave Hieb and Zambrana paperwork to fill out and offer their side of what happened, Hieb and Zambrana declined and said they did not want to press charges.

“Immediately — the next day — we said, ‘We don’t want anything to do with this,’” Hieb said.

Hieb said he later learned from Wayne Westphale, the men’s attorney, that they were facing felony charges. Hieb said he agreed with Westphale’s suggestion of 10 to 20 hours of community service as an appropriate punishment. Westphale could not be reached Saturday for comment.

“These guys jumped over the fence and got some over-ripe produce. What they did, at most, was a temporary slip of judgment,” Hieb said. “These guys are not criminals. For them to be in jail is ridiculous.”

Charlé most recently worked as a social worker. Siller is an Americorps volunteer and a yoga instructor. Both men had plans to go to graduate school, family and friends said.

The men could have accepted a lesser jail sentence.

“They had a choice between accepting a deferred felony with 90 days in jail or a misdemeanor conviction with six months in jail,” St. James said Friday. “It came down to whether they wanted a felony conviction with less jail time or a misdemeanor with more jail.”

St. James also asked Judge James Garrecht to fine the men $42 for each day they serve in jail, the standard cost of care for inmates. Garrecht refused.

Kris Hammond, a Steamboat Springs attorney, met with the men when they sought a second opinion in their case. Hammond, like Westphale, advised the men to plead to the misdemeanor and accept the six-month sentence.

“The way I put it to them was, ‘Could you win your case? Yes. But am I willing to gamble a felony conviction that you’re going to win? No,’” Hammond said Saturday.

Hammond said there really was no choice. If they pleaded guilty to the felony, he said, the men faced four years of supervised probation before their records would have been cleared. Also, they would have had to apply for an interstate transfer to serve their probation outside of Colorado.

“Defendants are given these kinds of choices every day,” Hammond said. “This one is particularly egregious, but the same kind of thing goes on in a lot of cases.”

Shaune McCarthy Charlé, Giles Charlé’s mother, said the men talked to several attorneys, who all advised them to take the misdemeanor deal.

“We’ve been working on this all summer long,” she said. “We just felt like we were completely helpless. Everyone said there was no hope, no hope, no hope. We’re absolutely flabbergasted by what has happened.”

Hammond said there is little recourse for the men now, barring a decision by the DA’s office to amend the agreement and shorten the sentence.

“My job is to defend my clients no matter what,” Hammond said. “The DA’s job is to seek justice, not just a conviction. It’s hard to see the justice in this.”

Call Scott Stanford at 871-4221 or e-mail him at

Community comments

Note: The Steamboat Pilot & Today doesn't necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy.

spiderqueen1 (anonymous)
September 2, 2006 at 12:15 p.m. (Remove)

Has the ADA been smoking products from thr evidence locker? Unfortunately I do not live in Routt County so I cannot vote against the incumbent DA. If I were a Routt County taxpayer I would be outraged at this waste of public resources. Don't you have any real crimes to prosecute up there?

cforevereyez (anonymous)
September 2, 2006 at 12:41 p.m. (Remove)

Liberty and justice for all?

Not in Steamboat Springs, CO

lobotimized (anonymous)
September 2, 2006 at 1 p.m. (Remove)

Come to Steamboat and be "paranoid" of your every move! Be careful out there!

david (anonymous)
September 2, 2006 at 3:25 p.m. (Remove)

Did Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, which govern the actions of attorneys in Colorado?

In this regard, Rule 3.8, Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor, requires, inter alia, that a "prosecutor in a criminal case shall:

(a) refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause." In addition, there is a question whether Mr. St. James violated Rule 3.1, Meritorious Claims and Contentions.

In turn, these questions raise a fundamental issue of whether the gravamen of the State's action against the defendants is justicable under Colorado law. According to newspaper reports, they were charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor theft.

By way of background, these offenses are defined in the Colorado Criminal Code. First, § 18-4-401 (1) of the Colorado Revised Statutes ("CRS") states that a "person commits theft when he knowingly obtains or exercises control over anything of value of another." While no doubt the over-ripe produce taken from outside the store was of value to the defendants, that is immaterial. The important thing is that the decretal language of the statute requires that the produce must be of value to the putative owner. However, in view of the store owner's alleged abandonment of the produce as garbage, it no longer had any value to him. Thus, any prosecution was not actionable, because this essential element of the crime of theft was lacking.

Second, a necessary element of the crime of burglary, as defined in CRS § 18-4-202, - 203, is that it must be done "with intent to commit therein a crime....against another person or property." Here, the alleged underlying crime, i.e., the "theft" of abandoned produce, is no crime at all. As Colorado's highest court held in Henson v. People, 166 Colo. 428, without proof of the value of "stolen" property there can be no conviction. Simply re-stated, produce which has been thrown out no longer had any value to the putative store owner.

Moreover, another essential element of burglary is intent to commit a crime against property. "Intent" is a state-of-mind requirement. In this instance, it is of some probative value that the newspaper reported that "Hieb [the store owner] said an inspection showed the men never entered the store." This statement appears to provide exculpatory evidence as to the defendants' state of mind, because they would have reasonable grounds to believe that over-ripe produce abandoned outside of the store would have had no value to the owner, and thus supports their contention that they were not intending to commit an act of theft.

Therefore, it appears that Mr. James has misinterpreted the legislative intent of the law with respect to value of the goods and the defendants’ state-of-mind.

outoftowner (anonymous)
September 2, 2006 at 4 p.m. (Remove)

Excellent post, David!

Where were you when these guys needed a good lawyer?

And, since you seem to know your law, can Mr. Siller and Mr. Charle take legal action against Mr. St. James and the courts for their improper prosecution?

david (anonymous)
September 2, 2006 at 4:35 p.m. (Remove)

>And, since you seem to know your law, can Mr. Siller and Mr. Charle take legal action against Mr. St. James and the courts for their improper prosecution?

No. In this case, they would have immunity from suit. But as a matter of attorney discipline, no member of the bar has immunity from being admonished, censured, or placed in a remedial program, or in the case of gross negligence or misconduct, from facing suspension of his or her license or disbarment.

HairyJane (anonymous)
September 2, 2006 at 4:57 p.m. (Remove)

Mom and Pop should get their heads out of there dumpster and smell the stench of the policestate there in baby killing Steemedboat Springs.

outoftowner (anonymous)
September 2, 2006 at 7:47 p.m. (Remove)

Well, David, in this case I would hope for disbarment!

Can you either repost your original comments on the other board or grant me permission to copy and paste it? The message board on the original story is much more active than this one.

Thanks for your comments.

butterat42 (anonymous)
September 2, 2006 at 7:48 p.m. (Remove)

Do the people and the business community of Steamboat Springs support Mr. St. James farce? I will be following this case closely (from a safe distance from Steamboat Springs), and unless and until this travesty is ended I will maintain that distance. My regret is that I will not have the opportunity to vote against the District Attorney in the next election.

outoftowner (anonymous)
September 2, 2006 at 8:19 p.m. (Remove)

Call Mr. Kerry St. James and tell him what you think of his performance


intowner (anonymous)
September 2, 2006 at 9:11 p.m. (Remove)

And Kerry St. James wonders why his name wasn't sent to the governor as a potential appointee for district court judge. His abuses of power resulted in little to no support in the legal community. Imagine how he would act if he were judge! This situation simply would be a farce if it weren't for the lasting effects on the lives of these two young men.

St_joke (anonymous)
September 2, 2006 at 10:12 p.m. (Remove)

This town has gotten out of hand with prosecution. They just love locking people up and getting every last dime out of them. It's Steamboat if you haven't lived here all your life your simply screwed!!!!!!

jonathon (anonymous)
September 2, 2006 at 10:14 p.m. (Remove)

Thank you for all your comments concerning this sad situation. I'm speaking for myself, Jonathon Hieb and on the behalf of Katherine Zambrana,owners of Sweet Pea Produce.
Sorry it has taken so long to reply, as we were working at our store and doing our local farmers market today.
Sweet Pea does not agree with the offer made to these young men, by DA St. James.
I personally spoke with St. James concerning this matter a month ago. I told St. James that I was concerned with what he had offered these men, and before I could even explain my position St James rudely interrupted me and specifically told me he wasn't going to have these young men and the rainbow people come into our nice town and take it over. And he added, that he was going to make an example out of them. I was so furious I soon ended the conversation, in fear I would say something that I would later regret.
Now I'm going to say what I should have said to St. James that day.
In my opinion DA St James purposely put these young men in a situation were they had to choose jail time instead of excepting a felony that would have ill effects on them for the rest of their lives. These young men are clearly not criminals and are ambitious in their endeavors as social workers and as teachers, a felony on thier record would surely crush these dreams.Basically, St. James made them choose between the lesser of two evils.This matter could have been handled with an apology, an at most a small amount of community service.Instead, St. James has made Steamboat Springs look like a place that is absent of compassion and most of all common sense.I think it's time Mr. St. James questioned his ability to serve the people of routt co.
I will be glad to talk to anyone concerning this matter but please no more threatening phone calls to Sweet Pea, as some of my employees are truly scared. Please call me personnally 970 846.1907
Sincerely, Jonathon Hieb
P.S. We do recycle our overipe produce, we give it to local pig farmers. And thanks for the compost idea.

outoftowner (anonymous)
September 2, 2006 at 11:13 p.m. (Remove)

I said it on the other board and I'll say it again here. Thank you for your honesty and your courage here to speak out against this injustice. I hope that everyone in Steamboat Springs recognizes where the evil is and continues to appreciate your stand and your product. I am hoping to get a national email campaign going to get these guys out of jail and am hoping for your support. Do we have it?

outoftowner (anonymous)
September 2, 2006 at 11:14 p.m. (Remove)

Call Mr. Kerry St. James and tell him what you think of his performance -


outoftowner (anonymous)
September 2, 2006 at 11:34 p.m. (Remove)

Get these guys out of jail. Email

to join an email petition

1FRANKENSTEIN (anonymous)
September 2, 2006 at 11:51 p.m. (Remove)


zen (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 12:05 a.m. (Remove)

Kerry St. James's actions are an intolerable act of legal terrorism - the aggressive and abusive use of the law as a weapon to terrorize and intimidate for self-interested purpose. St. James is a courtroom bully with little understanding of human dignity or compassion. St. James should resign immediately, and I encourage the Colorado Bar Association to issue a professional reprimand. Kerry - you are without a human heart.

outoftowner (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 12:32 a.m. (Remove)

I repeat:

Call Mr. Kerry St. James at 970-879-1146 with your comments about his performance!

freshair (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 6:19 a.m. (Remove)

Grow up children. Nobody ever said Life was Fair. OJ, Robert Blake and Michael Jackson beat obvious Murder and Child Molesting raps and these 2 'outstanding' examples of young manhood, given a choice between lesser time or 6 months, choose their own fate. Steamboat will do quite nicely without the Rainbow crowd and their camp followers. Yes, indeed, kindly take yourselves somewhere else where the Locals can 'enjoy' crossing paths with foul smelling, walking piles of dog-feces- smelling-drugged-out- social misfits in their midst. By all means, put Steamboat on your NO Go List.

379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 7:20 a.m. (Remove)

While most know my opinion of the RFers, in this case judicial deliverance is like a Senator Ted Kennedy teaching morals and how to stay dry in a wet situation. (Anyone remember mary Jo) Kerry St. James once again proves that even a sanitation worker can do a better job of handling the real msicarriages of justice.

But hey, we've got Brent Romick driving around town, more than likely drunk; Billy Kidd lifting a steak and flowers and even a ill tempered gent from the front range who slugs women on the ski hill. What do these yahoos have in common? They all committed crimes, and are walking the streets. Meanwhile we have 2 RFers, sitting in our pokey, taking up seats.


isobel (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 7:55 a.m. (Remove)

Hi, Im the sister of Giles Charle, one of the boys. I would like to thank the readers of the Pilot for all their support, it really makes us feel good to know that not everyone is crazy!

More importantly, there is something you can do to help! Please call asst. District Attorney Kerry St. James at (970) 879-1146, or better yet, his boss District Attorney Bonnie Smith Roesink at (303) 824-7041 and demand that the sentences of these two obvious non-criminals Giles Charle and David Siller be reduced to not include jail sentence, as is the will of the Sweet Pea owners. As citizens of Steamboat Springs, refuse to pay for them to sit in prison for six months. You all have the right to dictate how your money is spent!

Tell Bonnie Roesink, who is up for re-election in 2007, that St. James is way off base, and should resign or at least learn a serious lesson in justice. If she wants to be re-elected, she needs to listen to what the community wants. Please help and tell your friends! Also, if anyone has the email of any of these two, please post it and spread the word.

Thanks, Isobel Charle

379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 7:59 a.m. (Remove)


Sweet Pea may be feeling sadness now for the dumpster divers, however, they were the ones who called the police in the first place.

Indeed, St. James may have his hand in this travesty of justice, but it's the Judge who has the final say in sentencing. St. James can recommend a sentence, but Judges do the final say.

So, in addition to the St. James stupidity, you might want to include the judge as well.

Maybe in the future, the dumpster divers will ask the permission of the owners of said dumpster before venturing in for a tossed salad.

isobel (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 8:21 a.m. (Remove)

Also, that email petition sounds like a great idea! I already asked everyone in my address book to send a demand of release message to and you should all do the same! Thanks

isobel (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 8:30 a.m. (Remove)

In response to 379664: Actually, what our lawyer explained to us was that once the plea bargain had already been decided by the DA and reached, the judge had no power to change the sentence. The boys did not even get a chance to explain their position to the judge. All the judge did was say that they would not have to pay for their time in jail, at which point St. James piped in and suggested that they should pay because some travelers checks were found on them at the time of arrest. Fortunately for the boys, but unfortunately for the people of Steamboat, the judge did not make them pay. I am not sure how this all makes sense legally, perhaps someone else has some insight? If anyone has some ideas of how to help or knows more about these legal rules, please email me at Thanks again!

jonathon (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 8:48 a.m. (Remove)

Hey, 379664 be careful what you say. The Sweet Pea owners did not call the police, they were home eating diner after working twelve hours when the police called them and informed them of the situation. Some people staying in the condos across the street from Sweet Pea called the police. This took place at 7:45 p.m in the evening, Sweet Pea closes at 7:00 p.m. Please people if you are not sure about the facts,refrian from making false comments, you are hurting innocent people. Remember, police records are public documents for your viewing. Let's try to be more deligent in our comments.

379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 8:56 a.m. (Remove)

Okay...Isobel, got a question for you now. The travellers cheques? When did that come into play? Where did the dumpster divers come across the cheques?

379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 9:05 a.m. (Remove)


Police records are for public record only AFTER a case has been settled, and even then, not all information is for public record.

Just an FYI, I happen to think that this entire case is ridiculous, but people in this town DO call the police for stupid crap, and once the police respond and they need the caller to identify perps, often times the caller then wishes to remain nameless.

And do you really think that everything in the paper is 110% accurate, all the time?

Isn't it a lovely fall day outside?

bigdog (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 9:15 a.m. (Remove)

I beleive this thing is about to heat up big time. The national media outlets are starting to pick this story up. Not good for tourism or St. James.

The Crap is going to fly next week!

isobel (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 9:19 a.m. (Remove)

Im not sure I should respond to this because what you're insinuating is so absurd, but they were Giles' (from the bank - money he earned working as a social worker). Please refrain from trying to catch them in some sort of lie. The whole story is out there.

grammy303 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 9:27 a.m. (Remove)

this is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard. trash is trash. just another way to waste tax payers moey. i think the d.a. should go to jail for 6mos. for even prosecuting this stupid so-called crime. why don't they spend more time on the real criminals.

379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 9:30 a.m. (Remove)


You mentioned the travellers cheques here in the first place. I simply asked a question.

379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 9:57 a.m. (Remove)

“These guys jumped over the fence and got some over-ripe produce. What they did, at most, was a temporary slip of judgment,” Hieb said. “These guys are not criminals. For them to be in jail is ridiculous.”


Gotta love this reasoning. So, what do we do in the future when defendants start to use the "temporary slip of judgment" defense? Can we presume that in the future all criminals will pipe up and emphatically proclaim: "Oh, I had a brief lapse of common sense" or "I am lacking good judgment"?

Maybe Jonathan Heib can write a book on 101 Ways to Use Common Sense and/or 10 ways to Defend yourself when suffering from "Temporary Slips of Judgment". Maybe John Mark Karr can use that logic for his upcoming legal woes in California.

Maybe the Kennedy Klan can assert "Temporary Slips of Judgment" when they clash with the law. How about old Bin Laden and his ilk..."Temporary Slips of Judgment". The list goes on and on. Brent Romick can assert his "Temporary Slip of Judgment" when he gets caught again for DUIs. Billy Kidd can exclaim, "Oh, I was cruising through the grocery store and I had a "Temporary Slip of Judgment" .." when walking out the door with a NYStrip and Flowers.

Sounds to me like the owners of Sweet Pea, while more than likely, a decent hard working bunch of folks, are a little wishy washy when it comes to what their intentions were and/or are.

I, of course, will now take some heat for my choice of words here, but I am going to use the "Twinkie Defense" for my "Tem porary Slip of Judgment", while posting on this forum.

jonathon (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 9:58 a.m. (Remove)


Thanks for correcting me on police records. And yes it is a awesome fall day in Steamboat, let's get out there and enjoy it.
Thanks for all your comments, and Isobel I hope things start getting better for you and your brother. Let me know if there is anything I can do.

379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 10:04 a.m. (Remove)

Jon: So noted!

bigdog (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 10:21 a.m. (Remove)


While I agree with your premise, the fact is that each case you used as a comparison of using the "Temporary Slip of Judgment" they by far exceed the “crime” of dumpster diving. The laws, enforcement and punishment should be applied with balance, which in this case there was a gross overstep of reasonableness - imho.

southrouttmucker (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 11:09 a.m. (Remove)


EricBInVermont (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 12:07 p.m. (Remove)

I have known one of the men (Giles Charle) for many years, and can personally attest to his upstanding character. In fact, just before returning to Steamboat to deal with the legal charges, he worked for me and his aunt at our house for two days, busting his hump from sunup to sundown, doing every odious chore that I've avoided for the past year: turning the compost piles, digging up and replanting the strawberries, hauling a cord of logs to the woodpile, etc etc. Just to make a few bucks to defray some of his legal expenses!

During his visit, Giles was obviously very concerned about the legal charges against him in Steamboat. Like his own attorney, my cousin (who's also an attorney) strongly advised him to plead to a misdemeanor to avoid any possibility of a felony conviction. Among other consequences, someone with a felony conviction is denied the right to vote in many states, and a big reason why Giles took the misdemeanor plea was to avoid being disenfranchised for life.

I am very proud of Giles for facing six months in your county jail on this absurdly trumped-up charge in part to safeguard his fundamental right to participate in our democracy.

For my part, I wonder whether there is a wider connection between this one action by the crusading Mr St James, seeking felony convictions for taking spoiled fruit from a trash can, and our current national reality, where those controlling our government attempt to intimidate and even disenfranchise their political opponents whenever and however they can.

379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 12:10 p.m. (Remove)


I was being sacrastic. Obviously, the Twinkie Defense only applies in the case of first degree murder of elected officials in San Francisco!

379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 12:12 p.m. (Remove)


Simple question here. Does your buddy make it a habit of trespassing in order to dive into a dumspter for a FREE MEAL, when he has american currency in his pocket? I believe we would refer to people like that as mentally ill or challenged in the use of currency. But hey, that's just me.

zen (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 12:18 p.m. (Remove)

Two questions - Was there harm? Was there intention to harm? The answer to both question in this case is NO. Slippery slope logic connecting the "temporary lapse of judgement" of these 2 to that of Karr or bin Laden is asinine. You must also look at outcomes.

matilda (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 12:32 p.m. (Remove)

Maybe The owners of Sweet Pea, Jonathon Hieb and Katherine Zambrana, could turn this around by offering the 2 men in jail a job. Certainly nonviolent offenders would qualify for a work release program. Just a thought...... it's not thier responsibility but it would make a definate statement on their position and get noticed. Any way these guys are hard workers.

379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 12:34 p.m. (Remove)


When someone steals your car, is there any harm? That might be up to the individual who is crying for his car?

When someone steals your wallet, spends your money and absconds with your credit cards, is there harm?

One could argue that the intent of the dumpster divers was to eat free garbage - while others could argue that there was no intent to eat free garbage but rather to slip back a few genes, to cro-magnum times, and see what all the hoop-la was about in "Inherit the Wind" !!!!!

Some of you need to lighten up...sacrasm people, sarcasm. We all know Bin Laden wouldn't dive into dumpsters looking for the salad bar but rather when we, Americans, light up his arse.

levasseur1 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 12:35 p.m. (Remove)

As an adult who watched Giles Charle grow up in my neighborhood and play with my children I can certainly attest to the kind of person that Giles has become. He is exceedingly kind and generous much like his father, my physician and dear friend. Giles is passionate and creative much like his mother, a talented artist and someone I am happy also to consider my dear friend. In short, Giles has grown into a fine young man who has devoted both his academic pursuits and his professional calling to helping others less fortunate than himself.

Now I know that is "conventional wisdom" that bad things often happen to good people. Giles seems to have found himself in the middle of a situation that he argueably contributed to by removing discarded food from a trash area on private property. However, the situation seems to me from a distance, to be overly politicized and blown out of all proportion to the actions. Neither Giles nor David nor anybody's son or daughter deserves to made an example of in a way that may cause irreperable harm to their person and/or reputation.

The injustice of this jail sentence borders on the criminal in and of itself. The local judicial system and governmental agencies of Steamboat Springs are not well served by this action. The example being made will, in the end come back to harm the areas image. Whatever the real motivation of the Assistant District Attorney, he is being terribly short-sighted. From the statements that I read in your paper from the store owner, it would seem that any political mileage that the ADA sought to achieve by his "crusading zeal" will only earn him the emnity of many of the community's voters.

What needs to happen here is simple and straightforward. Giles and David need to be set free immediately! Set them free and walk in the light of humanity as fair judge of what is prudent and right.

Tom Levasseur

379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 12:37 p.m. (Remove)


Maybe the tax payers in Boulder can offer John Mark Karr a book deal, or even better, Penguin Publishing can give Karr a job, rating jail cells and corporal punishment.

isobel (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 12:38 p.m. (Remove)

Please email Bonnie Roesink the distric attornery (and the boss of Mr. St. James) at and let her know your outraged! It is still possible that with enough pressure Giles and David could be released. thanks

379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 12:43 p.m. (Remove)

Maybe if enough people write to Santa Claus, he'll make two trips a year.

intowner (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 12:45 p.m. (Remove)

379664: it appears that you are familiar with Ms. Roesink. The fact is that, whenever someone complains about Mr. St. James' abuses, she vigorously defends him. She is the elected official, so she is the one who should be held responsible.

bolter (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 1:01 p.m. (Remove)

Tremendous power, terrible judgment, and no adult supervision. Is it any wonder that Mr. St. James is running amok?

bolter (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 1:04 p.m. (Remove)

When the assistant coach makes questionable calls, the head coach must step up and:

1) Stand by the assistant and explain why; or
2) Woodshed the assistant; or
3) Fire the assistant.

If the head coach won't do anything, it's time for a new head coach.

EricBInVermont (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 1:12 p.m. (Remove)

Hi 379664.
No, it's not his habit. As has been said (and you have already mocked), it was a lapse of judgment, and he is eager to atone. He hoped to do community service or to work for the Sweet Pea owners, if they were willing, to pay back his injury to them. And as I have seen firsthand, he works hard. But where is the proportion and the sense in threatening a felony for this small transgression, then offering only a plea to six months of jail? I suspect that these two have been singled out for extreme punishment because of resentment in the community against the Rainbow folks generally. Besides being unfair, that won't do anything to compensate the owners, who were actually trespassed against, who have strongly criticized the ADA, and who ironically as taxpayers now will have to help foot the bill for the jail time which they oppose. However, I'm sure we'll hear from you again, probably to demand that the pair be executed to save that taxpayer expense, or to send a strong message to Osama bin Laden that we won't accept the Twinkie Defense, or something like that.

outoftowner (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 1:14 p.m. (Remove)

Ann, you are getting a bit silly in your attempts to lay the blame for this entire situation soley at the feet of Mr. Siller and Mr. Charle. Everyone KNOWS that Santa will only make ONE trip.


379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 1:22 p.m. (Remove)


I don't make it a habit to "mock" people. But, come on here buddy - cash in pocket and diving in dumpsters. Where I come from that's referred to as just plain dumb.

Obviously you don't know me - I think the sentence is stupid and ridiculous. However, they did trespass. What part of that isn't clear?

One thing I am curious about though - the general theme of RFers while they were here was that they almost seemed to think, however crazy, that the rest of the world retreat to their methods of payment : i.e., cookies for ER visist; beads for groceries, etc. Why should the DA or ADA and the Judge ("a"nother "d"umb "a"rse) modify their judicial sentences to working off a debt to a victim? Wasn't that something we were subjected to back in the 60's when we were kids and we inadvertently hit a baseball into a neighbours' window? Ya know - pay off your debt!

Ya know what - maybe when the trash consumers get out of jail they can give the owners of Sweet pea a call, and get some jobs.

I again reiterate that I am opposed to the jail time and think the entire situation is really disgusting. But, I am also here to state once again, that these two ding-a-lings trespassed to eat a free happy meal.

379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 1:23 p.m. (Remove)

Outof towner:

Silly? Nah, that's what happens when people with money in pocket, dive into green garbage containers.

"Ann" Coulter

outoftowner (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 1:34 p.m. (Remove)

379664 -

Regardless of any point you've made or failed to make, I think it is in very poor taste for you to post messages to the family and friends of the 2 young men referring to them as "ding-a-lings", "mentally ill", and insinuating that they cheques might have been stolen. You're just not a very nice person, from what I can see, and a apparently don't even try.

And Bigdog -

Sorry, the national press is not "just starting to get wind of this" -- It was on the AP on Friday and has been all over the country for 2 days now. It was even headline news in the United Kingdom.

outoftowner (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 1:41 p.m. (Remove)

It's obvious that Mr. St. James isn't the only person in Steamboat Springs that dislikes the Rainbow Family. And maybe that's totally justifiable. Maybe they do cause problems for the locals.

It STILL doesn't give him the moral right to stick it to these 2 guys the way he did. He is STILL in the wrong, and he would not have had the same plea deal for any 2 other people who might come to Steamboat Springs. Since Mr. Hieb did not request any kind of compensation or punishment, it would have gone away for anyone else. Mr. St. James would not have taken action if this had been a couple of rich local teenagers looking for tomatos to throw. It was prejudical behavior on his part and an abuse of his position in public office to pursue a personal agenda.

EricBInVermont (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 1:46 p.m. (Remove)

Hi again 379664. Well you threw me for a loop by not calling for executions. Since you say you're also opposed to jail time, I'll meet you halfway, and concede that one might substitute "dumb" for "lapse of judgment". I never asked him specifically why they didn't go elsewhere; when he gets out in six months, I surely will. But IIRC the stores were all closed, they're vegetarians (of course; they'd never eat a Happy Meal, free or otherwise), and the fruit was sitting right there on top of the trash... sure, it was dumb. A felony charge and six month jail sentence is a whole lot dumber.

379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 1:47 p.m. (Remove)

Oh, out of towner...I am going to cry into my pillow every night.

Let me rephrase:

Two Professors were walking down the street one summer evening in Steamboat Springs. Both were highly educated men. One had a few of his OWN traveller's cheques in his pocket. As they strolled through the town, they came upon an establishment referred to as Sweet Pea. Oh how they marveled at such a pleasant name, which somehow was calling out their name. Upon checking the "door" at Sweet Pea, the two professors found that the establishment was closed. They chatted back and forth among themselves, in Chinese (they were b-lingual) as to how they should get a dinner when the establishment was closed.

Suddenly, the Professors thought to themselves, aloud of course, "why don't we hop the fence and dive into that large, flowerly dumspter"...surely a free meal awaits us. These two scholars had consumed many fine meals in their life; 5 star eateries, Creme Brulee, Rack of Lamb, succulent berries, wine from the vine and even used fine silver, china and crystal. But they had never ventured into a dirty dumpster for a free meal when they had money in their pockets. Such a notion would be ridiculous to a bunch of professors.

Suddenly, the urge to eat from a garbage pail failed them, and they realized that they had money in their pockets, so they hightailed it out of the area, lavishing themselves with fine foods, amply available down the road.

The End.

379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 1:50 p.m. (Remove)

I will meet you halfway, in the middle, Eric. I am not the evil woman people make me out to be.

outoftowner (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 1:56 p.m. (Remove)

Well, 379664 - you most certainly are entertaining. I'll give you that much.

the_Lizard (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 2:01 p.m. (Remove)

haha, That's true, nice story...they were bilingual... of course LOL

mikesmith0330 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 2:24 p.m. (Remove)

Although I no longer live in Routt County, I did for 20 years and let me say that this is very typical of Kerry St. James. He has always abused his office. Life in prison would be too good for this corrupt man. I really hope this goes national so maybe he will finally be brought to justice.

felix (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 3:03 p.m. (Remove)

I cannot believe what is happening in our relax layback steamboat town. I join all of you in the outrage and really hope will make national news next week...
Mrs S. Roesink should step up and discipline her own staff. That is also a boss responsibility! It is ashamed that these 2 young men ended in such a legal dead end. It is true that in this country if you are not loaded with dollars, justice is not served the same way, isn't it?
Mrs Roesnik is endorsing our Democrat Governor to be: Bill Ritter... but this type of justice does not fit with a democrat's philosophy... so where do you really stands Mrs Roesnik? Where are your priorities in our sick justice sysytem?
St James should definitively resigns, or Roesnik should show him where is the door.
Finally all my support goes to Sweet Pea's owners. As a custumer I knew this incident was beyond your control and I thank you for your letter. I will sign the petition to help these guys out... By the way isn't it time for a REAL change this November... register and vote for a new governor, sherriff, DA (when it is time)... aren't you fed up with this country burried with conservatism, puritanism, evangelism, and so much more. SPEAK OUT and make it happen!

the_Lizard (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 3:12 p.m. (Remove)

excuse me... what does conservatism have to do with this problem?!?

felix (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 3:17 p.m. (Remove)

let's put it this way: IF Mrs Roesnick and her staff had liberal / progressist ideas of justice... this case would be closed, dismissed, never existed. As someone said earlier about revolution; the French revolution in 1789 started on similar series of events : injustice.

379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 3:39 p.m. (Remove)

...liberals would have no laws and rainbow people would rule the world. Good that would be the mass exodus of criminals running the world right into the ground, dirty as it may be after 15,000 soiled it with their pooopies.

OneFly (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 4:47 p.m. (Remove)

Ann, that post you just wrote has got to be one of the most stupidest things I've ever read but I am sure you have it in you to do even better.

JW (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 5:32 p.m. (Remove)

I am trying to figure out if St. James as a midget, or just a 12-year-old girl in disguise?

Yes St. James really likes to make examples of people. I wish some one would make an example of him.

Shave the little twit, roll him flour and drop him over Germany where he belongs.

379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 5:40 p.m. (Remove)

liberals running the criminal system. Ha. That's a laugh!

Next thing you know, Ted Kennedy will be giving driving lessons.


"Ann" Coulter

ArlineMcCarthy (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 5:44 p.m. (Remove)

I'm Giles Charle's grandmother and altho' this is a first for me in my 83 years, I feel I should get in on this discussion and let you all know that Giles has been a fine grandson. He is a caring, honest and sincere young man who has much to offer to this world. Since much of this talk is centering around the question of why he was carrying traveler's checks and not finding a restaurant when he was hungry, I think I know the answer. Giles believes in recycling. He isn't too proud to wear "thrift store" clothes either. Now I must get busy and send him some cookies.

theyelladawg (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 9:02 p.m. (Remove)

This story is a prime example of why exists. We hope the voters remember this disgraceful incident at the polls. These kinds of bureaucrats are what's wrong with this country. We're SURE there must be more important crimes in their jurisdiction that are going uninvestigated and unprosecuted while they pursue utterly meritless matters such as these. SHAME on the prosecutors and SHAME on the voters who have failed to begin circulating RECALL petitions while this disgraceful situation has been going on and has been reported.

woodlegal (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 9:03 p.m. (Remove)

Obviously St. James' power has gone to his head. Why not a pardon from the governor? Then this whole farcical chapter would be over.

wokkawokka (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 9:16 p.m. (Remove)

I am an organic peach that the owners of Sweet Pea Produce threw out into the dumpster. They did it with love and with the hope that I would continue my journey from the orchard to nourish someone who needed me. I was fortunate to be found by Giles. He provided me a loving and warm home and allowed me to once again have hope to be wanted and loved and perhaps be in a pie that would make a child smile. The hob nailed boot wearing Gestapo of Steam Boat Springs got thier gun holsters in a twist and shattered the dream of this peach. For as long as I live I will never forget how the produce in SBS is denied their dream. I can only hope that a bird will eat me and then crap my pit on St. James- hopefully hitting him on his gavel swinging wrist and shatter it as he is shattering my dreams. Woe to you SBS! Woe to you and the regime of your shiece of pit town.

johnmilford (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 9:23 p.m. (Remove)

This is just the kind of story Bill O'Reilly loves to run with. If enough folks email him at he may do a segment. He'll put the needed pressure on this dopey prosecutor. Email Bill at:

There's no need to over-elaborate, just include a link to the story.

matilda (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 9:24 p.m. (Remove)

It's to bad the young men did not have any help from the ACLU or attorneys willing to take it to trial. Even if convicted of a felony it could be appealled, in this case that would have been the only way to get the case heard fairly. Local attorneys who like living and working in the area are not likely to give much defense to a DA's pet case. The family should appeal to the Governor, tell them who these kids are and why they should not be in jail

marvinlzinn (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 9:25 p.m. (Remove)

Some police, lawyer, or judge must have defined their interpretation of the law and force it applied. But NO person of ANY position have a right or obligation to follow ANY law that makes such stupid results as this one! They could easily have ignored it if they had any sense in their own heads.


Ialdoboath (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 9:48 p.m. (Remove)

To "Ann" Coulter, regarding your views of Liberalism.The liberal approach to crime is not to dismiss it out of hand as you seem to believe. However, for there to BE a crime committed you have to show that there has been a trespass or injury to someone's person or property without their consent. Then, once established that a crime has been committed, the resolution of the crime should be done such that the situation is resolved and all parties involved are compensated and/or reformed. The typical conservative ethic in dealing with crime is one of punative justice... hurt the bastard as much as you can to teach him a lesson. This creates angrier, better criminals that will likely not get caught next time.
The liberal approach deals with people, and attempts to make a situation right, not just punish the criminal. Sometimes, as in the case of a child killer or some such thing, the punishment is life in prison. In most cases (like this one) the punishment SHOULD have been public service to the owner of the shop whose property was tresspassed on.
I think the French Revolution comparison is apt. You sound very much like someone who would have been screaming for the more blood on the guillotine.

intowner (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 9:54 p.m. (Remove)

FYI: I have it on good authority that a recall petition IS in the works. Of course, this would only tangentially affect Mr. St. James because he is not elected. Maybe his boss will be proactive for a change and send him packing before she is recalled...

AtlantaLawyer (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 9:58 p.m. (Remove)

Thanks for publishing this article. I will call St. James and the DA. Talk about a victimless crime! Dangerous people doing dangerous acts are punished less severely every day.

mgkrebsii (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 10:15 p.m. (Remove)

David's analysis is good. However, it ignores that the garbage, though abandoned by store owners, once in the trash can is the property of the garbage company. There's a U.S. supreme court decision on point. What value did the garbage have for the garbage company? (Maybe they were going to sell it to a pig farmer, like is done in Las Vegas.)

twobtuse (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 10:21 p.m. (Remove)

Under the heading of "You ain't gonna believe this sh*t" Check out this story. Seems as if the high and mighty Mr. St. James has a past that's even better then this case.
The man should not be a lawyer ( and wouldn't in many states) let alone a prosecuter. Damn!

Mental note, Never, ever ever go to SteamBoat Springs again.

angelina_jelly (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 10:22 p.m. (Remove)

More blood on the guillotine? Nah...

Let them eat cake!

At least that what I keep saying.

angelina_jelly (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 10:35 p.m. (Remove)

Maybe all of this hullaballoo will HELP tourism.

Potential tourists might think that it is very SAFE here, what with this zero tolerance for trespasses and small crimes. Maybe all of this press will attract a different tourist demographic to Steamboat Springs than what we have seen over the past several years.

The Chamber should be busy using this press to market your town to cowering crime fearing Florida retirees. This will be a huge marketing success. The new flock of tourists will spend lots of money and leave little impact. They might even decide to buy third homes here, thus creating wealth in the real estate industry.

Ah Nevermind.... I hear the lynch mob right now heading up to my perch to hang me for creating the sacastic characature that is Angelina Jelly on this forum.

A sense of humour goes a long way.
Yours truly, the girl with the most cake,
Mme Antoinette

andreamn (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 10:44 p.m. (Remove)

This is so absurd. As a out of towner looking in I have to wonder do you all have shoot outs (liberals-vs-conservatives) at highnoon everyday?
I am so sick of the middle school mentality in this country when it comes to politics. I have no respect for our judicial system, period. As far as I am concerned there are two sets of laws in this country one for the rich (such as the Kennedy clan) and one for the rest of us poor slobs, wake up people and smell the roses. As far as the politics, both parties are in shambles, BOTH! Clinton was a disgrace and made America a laughing joke ( why DO THEY WORLD WIDE CALL HIM THE PAPER TIGER???), and Bush has alienated most of our friends. Yea they had BIll CLinton images in their parades in Europe, but IT WAS FOR JOKE VALUE,,holy cow, how hard is that to understand? HIS image was always in some perverted sex act. NO respect there. Yea most of the world thinks Americans are dense, and no wonder.
And for all you people spewing against conservatives, people you lump as Christians,,ywhy the hate, aren't you part of the compassionate understanding, loving party? Get over yourselves! Why the hate, my friends who are of the Muslim faith do not understand how one can spew so much venom against the faith that is part of this nations past, your venom to them is pure evil. I have to agree.
Until we can rationally sit with each other and discuss the problems of this nation we will only do an injustice to our children, it is time for people to be kind to their neighbors, and try to understand their neighbors instead of instantly hating them for their faith, party and orientation.

Just_Ignore_379664 (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 10:47 p.m. (Remove)

379664 (who calls herself Anne Coltier): Please just ignore her. She's only one poster, yet the amount of her posts make it seem like there is some kind of consenus for her view points. DON'T give her the time of day and she will eventually stop. She insults these guys and calls them idiots...yet she says she believes the penalty was unfair. Duh??? This doesn't seem exceptionally intelligent if she really wants to support the posters here aren't disputing that trespassing wasn't right. Community service was suggested. Ever been to jail? Even a few days in a cell with guys that have "white power" or something or other cigertte burned into their flesh would have you know six months is EXTRAORDINARILY DRACONIAN for stealing a rotten tomato from a garbage can.

wokkawokka: Important words of wisdom to a culture haplessly force fed a so called "American Dream" by rich profiteers. Under such a sedative, our programming has us so easily forget about compassion and the love, which are the real dream to those of us so lucky to have awaken to it. You've hit the peach pit on the head, except I think you're having it hit a little hard! Instead of eye for an eye, let's hope that it hits hard enough to knock some sense into these guys, or more likely get their arses out!

pilot (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 11:19 p.m. (Remove)

With garbage in and garbage out and DA's like St. James, Bin Laden doesn't even have to attack again. He wins by default.

AJohn (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 11:28 p.m. (Remove)

Email sent to the DA (copy to Bill OReilly):

TO: Bonnie Smith Roesink, District Attorney for Routt County, State of Colorado

Free the Sweet Pea Two!

Justice served? Shame on you.

Perhaps you should review "The Alice's Restaurant Massacre" by Arlo Guthrie. I'm sure you and Mr St James aren't old enough to remember it.

felix (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 11:28 p.m. (Remove)

how do you explain this Steamboat DA / ADA office punishes these young men with jail time when years ago a man charged with family abuse - once upon a time i was married... - was never sentenced with jail time after being charged with kidnaping, eluding police in high speed chase, damage property, restraining order and I miss some other good ones...
The answer is we are white people, he could afford a GOOD lawyer, he paid over $3,000 in fine, did some hours of community service. And he's not affiliated with rainbow type of group- at least from "outside"... And never spent more than 2 nights in the holding cell.
Where is the rational of the system? I have no clue. So yes for the recall, yes for the big cleaning and hoping that liberals and progressists will apply the law with more common sense. Thanks laldoboath for explaining.
Andeamn, you're wrong, they loved bill clinton in europe and around the world... and still do. Thet laughed at the Americans making such a big deal because he "smoked a cigar" with monica, even if he lied first about it. overseas, they don't care about this kind of stuff and what you do with you arses!. But they will shake their head on this one and will certainly think that the US is on the verge of being a fascist / police state. That does worry me a lot.

ryoung (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 11:31 p.m. (Remove)

This is an example of government over stepping their bounds. The government was not wronged but Sweet Pea Produce. If SPP did not want Giles Char­lé & David Siller to go to trail then they should of be able to stop it. The judge should of asked the owners of SPP what they wanted, not the doofus Assistant District Attorney.

spaktor (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 11:37 p.m. (Remove)


I agree with your assessment that if the DA was a liberal - this case would never have come about. After all, when the Clinton Government went to bust Randy Weaver for possession of a sawed-off shotgun they only shot his unarmed wife in the throat while she was holding a baby, his ten year old son in the back while he was running away, and the family dog. Let the punishment fit the crime, right?

But don't get me wrong - I think this DA and Herr St. James are a pair of jackasses. It just annoys me when a person suggests that political bent has anything to do with government abuse of power - Their politics are our distraction! We need to watch them all like hawks!

May these two men get the freedom they deserve - and long live the rainbow! (When I used to kick around that crowd - they were always good at coming up with bail money etcetera...where are their voices?)


KEGMAN (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 11:45 p.m. (Remove)



excop (anonymous)
September 3, 2006 at 11:59 p.m. (Remove)

Why are most problems in life caused by just a small percentage of the population? Thats an easy question.
Its because most folks are DECENT. This Kerry character doesnt from what I've read on this page seem decent at all or to have much character either. Of course his or is it her boss,this kerry character,appears to have even less as she seems to appear to support this injustice and I have already sent her my e-mail adding just another brick in the wall of protest hoping that enough bricks will change their behaviour in the future and start listening to their bosses , the voters .
I know this does'nt pertain to this present situation but I want to ask you all if you're not already aware of the
Fully Informed Jury Association that you as an honest and DECENT law abiding tax paying citizen can make ahuge difference when you are called to jury duty with cases like this one if it went to trial. Youare under no obligation to follow the judges instructions if you feel the law is improper or the sentence is to harsh for the offense etc.
" The highest and best function of the jury is to protect fellow citizens from tyrannical prosecutions and bad laws imposed by power hungry government."
Please go to their website and learn you are not a powerless serf or peon.

poopdeckpappy (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 12:10 a.m. (Remove)

As long as there is no ass-raping or the mental equivalent thereof (I've never been to prison), 3 squares a day, cleans clothes and a roof for 6 months cannot but help. If the system is strong enough, give a structureless person a few non-negotiable conformities and perhaps he/she does not have to look for food in a trash can again.

jasonbates (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 12:15 a.m. (Remove)

maybe the public will make an example of the DA ?

Maybe the DA will be punished as severely for trivial things as he punishes others?

Maybe thousands of rainbow gatherers could hang out in Steamboat now ?

Its a free country....

deeper issues in this story are generation and gender:

Maybe 80 million boomers will retire one day and .jin X. can move past riding skateboards? Skateboarding is not a crime! FASbirthing is not a crime either, but causes permanent damage to 1 in 100 Americans. The perpetrators are not held accountable, the victims are : 40 in every 100 prisoners have FAS. Don't misunderstand.

I really wonder what the afterlife holds, accountability-wise.

excgchief (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 12:28 a.m. (Remove)

Me thinks that the local cops from this hick town will be in big doo doo if they are ever caught sifting through someone's garbage looking for evidence. The way I understand it, the police can sift through people's garbage without any warrant because the trash is considered no one property anymore. What Mr. St James has done now is that if I lived in that town and caught the cops going through my garbage on my property without a warrant, then I should be able to have them arrest themselves and I would expect Mr. St James to give them the same deal he gave those two boys. The worst those to kids did was trespass on private property which at least in the rest of the country is a misdemenor punishable by a small fine and/or community service. I think St James has higher asperations than mere ADA. I think he's after his boss's job. Today Steamboat whatever, tomorrow the WORLD.....

foxtrot (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 12:39 a.m. (Remove)

Now,sorry for Sweet this story unfolds, they will be cited for creating an attractive nuisance !

broruss (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 12:41 a.m. (Remove)

Folks, these kind of ridiculous abuses and misuses of power on the part of police and prosecutors are a nationwide epidemic. We are right on the edge of living in a police state. Some say we are already there. I am surprised this jarhead St. James didn't use the war on terror as a pretext... heck, he could have said these poor guys were planning to use the spoiled fruit to make a bomb, and sent them up on enemy combatant charges, so they could be held indefinitely without legal representation. Educate yourselves at and

theonlyone (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 12:47 a.m. (Remove)

Its all the ____'s fault (fill it in, Jews, Arabs, Conservatives, Liberals etc..)... Strip down all your pre-conceived notions and realize that these boys did nothing wrong. They were taking some food that was being *thrown away*. Even the store owner does not care. Anyone who thinks they deserve to be locked up is arrogant, plain and simple. Step into their shoes for a second and try and see things outside of your right wing know it all conservative views. Luckily, most people on here seem to have compassion (whoa, whats that! Com-pash-ion.. rinky-dinky-do! Is that not some strange far east Buddhism mumbo jumbo)... If you sense sarcasm then you understand.. who else is sick of the citizens of the western world representing themselves as the bovine that they are.. moo cows, follow the heard.. ok, you can flame away now.

rollleft (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 1:04 a.m. (Remove)

So lets make sure I've got this straight. In 1998 after a multiyear molestation the police chief gets off.

In 2006 2 trespassing recyclers get 6 months.

Surely this is national news. And there must have been lots of further injustice inbetween.

excgchief (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 1:07 a.m. (Remove)

I took a gander on a map to find out where Steamboat Springs was located. Now I fully understand why this dork of an ADA did what he did. We have landfills larger than this town. He was bored. But to be fair to Mr. St James, the judge must a case to. I can't belive any judge worth his salt would have permitted jail time for this petty stuff. Ok, you want to punish someone for trespassing? That's cool. But taking something that has no value that not even the store owner was willing to press charges for. Seems to me a bit of a reach here. If I were the judge, I would have not accepted that stupid plea deal. Instead I would have dismissed the garbage dive charge and just hit them with trespassing. They did climb over a fense in order to get to the dumpster. I would have ordered a small fine and maybe 15 minutes of community service. The town is so damn small, you could probably clean it up in 10.... I'd have to give them an additional 30 minutes more for a lunch break....

I hope that the voters know that thanks to St. James, he's made you guys a laughing stock of the nation. Hell, I hear they're rolling in the aisles in the United Kingdom.... Ya this story got all the way over the big pond.

One question for you guys in Steamboat Willie Springs, is this dude up for re-election soon. Like real soon? I would seriously consider dumping him along with the dork judge who went along with it....

ben7 (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 1:34 a.m. (Remove)

David, You could stake out a place in
heaven for yourself if you would file an
amicus (friend of the court) brief on this
case. Your legal reasoning is impeccible.
This doesn't have to be the end of it.
When I was in (minor) trouble as a
younger man, I went and talked to the
prosecutors before the court appearance.
They will meet with a defendent. This may
not work for predatory violators, but in
the case of a victimless "crime" such as
this one, it can work wonders. Apparently
too late for that now, but isn't amicus an

Skier (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 2:31 a.m. (Remove)

Just boycott Steamboat Springs until the local government or the voters rectify the situation. I skiied Steamboat Springs 3 of the last 4 seasons. Each time I put several thousand dollars into the local economy. With this sort of negative publicity and the resulting backlash, Steamboat locals will have an incentive to change their elected officials... especially when yuppies like me opt to spend their vacations in more tolerant places.

SomeoneinCT (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 2:42 a.m. (Remove)

I'm glad AJohn mentioned "The Alice's Restaurant Massacre" , because while reading about this injustice, Arlo's song came to mind. I'm not old enough to remember all that happened in that era, but I was alive when it happened and I do hear the song every Thanksgiving.

Let's be real, the actual crime that was commited was trespassing. Don't even mention the stolen property, since it was abandoned as garbage.

Six months for trespass seems a bit severe when there are other crimes that need attention. Maybe fishing without a license will get you a year ?

Maybe Arlo will write the "Sweet Pea Produce Massacre" to wake the country up about this absurd sentence. It's already linked on the Drudge Report, so who knows where this story will go.

Cyberdish (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 2:53 a.m. (Remove)


formerskieratsteamboat (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 3:13 a.m. (Remove)

I am from Chicago and just recently (January 06) enjoyed a wonderful as well as expensive (yes, I footed the full bill) ski vacation with my large extended family in Steamboat and was planning to return this Winter. If what I am reading about this case continues to stand, I will not return. I advise others to take a stand and remind the good people of Steamboat that issues such as this resonate with the whole country. I beg the powers-that-be in Steamboat, fix this very bad issue so that I can feel good about spending insane amounts of money in your community.

mrnemo (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 3:28 a.m. (Remove)

From here in Florida, the view is that there is much more going on in Steamboat Springs than meets the eye. Nevertheless, your town and many of the fine intelligent people in it (from the many good emails) will be the net losers in this affair. This seems like a case of gross overkill by over-zealous opportunists that have put you all up for scorn and ridicule. Steamboat Springs sounds like a very nice place, but one best avoided if you're not one of the "good ol' boys." Too bad many tourists will first hear of your town in this deplorable context. Git er fixed, quickly. Augie

DUMAS (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 3:45 a.m. (Remove)

Is ST JAMES really JAVERT in drag?

Martel (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 4:20 a.m. (Remove)

Steam Boat Springs has not become a no-crime bastion of peace and civility by accident.

The menace presented by people who would trespass to dig food out of a dumpster is well known. The torment they thrust on society is simply unacceptable. If you do not stop this type behavior now, these thugs will extend their mischief to who knows what--- indiscriminate jay-walking, double parking, letting their dogs run off the leash, playing their music too loudly, riding motorcycles without a helmet ?

Thank goodness for St. James and the cops. It is level-headed government appointees/bureaucrats like them that give me the warm feeling that dollars seized from the taxpayers of Steamboat Springs for law enforcement purposes are being wasted in the best way possible. I for one do not want to see a taxpayer funded jail cell go to waste.

St. James clearly understands that if community service will accomplish the task of punishing a wrong doer, then some serious jail time will punish it even better--PLUS, it gives him a chance to show how much muscle he has available to squash citizenry that dare cross the misdemeanor line. It also better insures that our already over crowded jail facilities are being utilized in the best way possible.

...and to think that there are sensible people out there who actually think the war-on-drugs is the biggest waste of taxpayer funded law enforcement effort.

Seanfeld (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 4:26 a.m. (Remove)

Wow! I have to say this DA is an evil man someday he will get what is coming to him for this injustice. I don't know who you people are that think this is reasonable. This is the internet so I assume people are just being provocative for the hell of it. You'd be singin a different tune if it was your friend or relative.

I can't understand how you could take a plea like this in this case. I understand the possiblity of having a felony on your record is scary but I have to say sometimes you gotta stand up for what's right. When something like this happens it's not just your freedom that is being taken but all Americans. Then again I guess I couldn't trust a jury that was made up of people that allowed these goons to be in power in the first place. I wish I could go to this town to protest this act but I guess I am glad I live nowhere near this place. I will be really disappointed in the people of Colorado if something is not done about this. Now I know why South Park is set in Colorado. I will be amazed if this doesn't end up on there.

I also think that those who think this is a travesty should contact the governor of Colorade Ultimately he is responsible for the enforcement of law in his state and if he has to pardon these two to get them out of this then he should do that.

I'll be watching this story and I'll be praying there is a happy ending to it.

F_ck St. James and all his enablers. Although I have faith that this will not stand I know St. James will not pay for this crime.

I honestly still cannot believe that a human being could be so hateful that they would want to see two men in jail for eating fruit that was thrown in the garbage.

Kenndeaux (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 5:16 a.m. (Remove)

It sounds like Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James is trying to make a name for himself. Too bad is will now always be connected with "GIANT A--HOLE Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James".

Pangloss (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 5:19 a.m. (Remove)

Justice is blind, as it is supposed to be, and should be. Regardless of who a person is, where they come from, what their background is; if that person commits a crime they are eligible to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. To avoid this, you do not have to be paranoid, just obey the laws, which includes omitting violations in your actions.

If these guys were not of the background portrayed, if they were sleezy, three-time losers, the majority of comments entered would be much different.

The law is to be fair and equal to everyone. If these guys had been taught respect for the law, they might not have broken it. There are not supposed to be privledged classes in the USA. Life is tough, gotta work at it, no free rides promised. Our justice is blind for a good reason.

WobelyJones (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 5:26 a.m. (Remove)

Ha-Ha two loosers going to jail for eatin rottin fruit. Talk bout crazy stories today. Overkill, yeah; somewhat funny, ditto. Oh well, hope they can laugh too in about seven months.

hkinsey3 (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 5:29 a.m. (Remove)

Choices? Choices? Sure they were given choices. It's like asking someone if they would rather be shot or hung. 6 months jail time for trespassing is way out of line unless they are habitual criminals or have previous convictions for the same or a similar crime. Tell us ms DA just how long is their rap sheet? When I read the blurb "Men arrested for stealing food from trash" my first thought was it happened in China or North Korea where human rights are non-existent. But noooooooo it happened in my own backyard. You people make us all look silly.

WobelyJones (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 5:32 a.m. (Remove)

Still funny though

hkinsey3 (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 5:34 a.m. (Remove)

I can see it now. In his next tape Osama will be telling the world that America jails people for taking food from the trash. And he'll be telling the truth. Is it even possible to steal something that is being thrown away?

Seanfeld (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 5:35 a.m. (Remove)

Pangloss: You are an idiot. What you are saying has nothing to do with this case. If anything it's the opposite, from what it sounds like from the people that live in this town people who are in the know get off scott free while these two get 6 months in jail for taking something out of the garbage. So how is that blind justice.
What about all those people in Hollywood who get off with community service for DUI, drugs, assault, etc?
The US already has the second highest per capita prison population in the world behind only Russia. Do we really need more people in prison for f_cking nothing in the supposedly home of the free?

WobelyJones (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 5:39 a.m. (Remove)

Actually that is not true. 80% of the inmates in Cal. are illegal immigrants who have raped, murdered, stole (probably not rotten fruit though), and various other SERIOUS crimes. They are in prison but are not counted amongst the US population because the census does not know they are here. That stat of us being the second highest per capita in prison pop. is flawed completely.

hkinsey3 (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 5:42 a.m. (Remove)

Welcome to Steamboat Springs. Our trash cans have video surveillance. Warning, we prosecute dumpster divers to the full extent of the law. Inordinate sentences dispensed with glee. WE HAVE THE POWER. Have a nice stay :-)

WobelyJones (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 5:47 a.m. (Remove)

I will admit one thing, that prosecuter up there must be mighty bored. A simple fine would have sufficed. They did tresspass. But jail time, that takes too much effort to be socially worth while.

mrnemo (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 5:56 a.m. (Remove)

For three years, the young attorney had been taking his brief vacations at a country inn. The last time there, he'd finally managed an affair with the innkeeper’s daughter. Again looking forward to an exciting few days, he dragged
his suitcase up the stairs of the inn, and then stopped short.

There sat his lover with an infant on her lap!
"Helen, why didn't you write when you learned you were pregnant?" he cried. "I would have rushed up here, We could have gotten married, and the baby would have my name!"

"Well," she said, "when my folks found out about my condition, we sat up all night talkin' and talkin' and decided it would be better to have a bastard in the family than a lawyer."

MacInRochester (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 6 a.m. (Remove)

The two were wrong to jump a fence of a business after hours. The neighbors did the right thing calling police. They had no idea what their intent was. It's not at all like taking trash left out at the curb. The fruit market is in business to make a living - it is not a charity for these two to get free stuff. They need to show a little respect to the owners by paying for their goods instead of being so cheap. I know of a similar business family who decided to spray kerosene on all their throw-aways. They said if it were poor people doing it they wouldn't, but it was people with new Buicks and Lexus grubbing in their trash.
That said the authorities are wrong in their harsh response. They are prosecuting for who the men are not for what they did. If the local community doesn't correct the matter next election then the same is their's.

Seanfeld (anonymous)
September 4, 2006 at 6:01 a.m. (Remove)

WJ: I don't know 80% sounds like a stretch to me. I'm not from Cali though. However assuming that there are 30 million illegals in America which from what I understand would be an overstatement the US would still have the second highest per capita prison population. The point is we have enough rapists and murderers in prison that we don't need to be putting people who "steal" fruit from the garbage in prison for 6 months. There are only so many resources to go around and smart decisions need to be made. Fund troops in Iraq? Rebuild New Orleans? or put people in jail for eating garbage?